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Coming back to the latest developments in the city, you should know that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike or BBMP has already issued an official circular, stating that all public places which include hotels and restaurants, should be declared smoke-free zones. In case this decision is fully implemented, smoking will be fully banned across the restaurants, cafes and bars in Bangalore. Smoking may only be permitted in designated and restricted zones once an establishment obtains the NOC (no-objection certificate) from the Tobacco Control Cell at the BBMP. The proposal was received by the BBMP previously courtesy the high-powered tobacco control committee.
This decision is aimed at safeguarding non-smokers’ rights and curbing the impact of passive smoking based on the Karnataka Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Health of Non-Smokers Act and Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). The NOC will be available only for pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels which can seat 30+ guests. Most hotels presently have self-demarcated smoking zones which do not adhere to the current regulations. Illegal smoking zones should be removed by these establishments or trade licenses will be cancelled, said the BBMP Commissioner.
As per experts, this will be a major decision when it comes to protecting passive smokers across these establishments, particularly customers, waiters, cooks and managers who have carcinogens and nicotine infused in their bodies. This move will protect individuals who are perennially exposed to second-hand smoke as per the authorities. However, the hotel and restaurant industry is not that enthused. According to industry stalwarts, the ban on smoking has already been implemented by several establishments. However, a ban suddenly may not be possible due to various factors. Additionally, hoteliers may be harassed in case customers are seen with cigarettes which will not be acceptable according to industry players.
Some feel that the Government should be equally pro-active when it comes to stoppage of the production and sale of tobacco products. Some hoteliers and restaurant owners have welcomed this decision, stating that smoking is already banned in several establishments. However, they also state that the monitoring of no-smoking decisions may be tough in case people smoke in rented rooms in lodges. Fitting of smoke alarms may not be viable for smaller establishments as per hoteliers although implementation will be a difficult affair.
Share your view with us – do you support ban on smoking in Bangalore hotels, pubs and bars, considered to be places for personal amusement and recreations.
By Kaushik Pal
who operates from various coworking spaces in Gurgaon. He is the founder of Straction Consulting and consults various early seed funded companies on Digital Marketing initiatives. He loves travelling and participating in Marathons during his free schedule.